Monday, 10 December 2007

Ads Glamourise Whatever They Are Advertising

Really, though, it's what they are there for, just like it's impossible to make an anti-war film that can't be misinterpreted by some pro-war faction or other, ads that tell you something is bad tend to make that thing look good, at least for some people. I've mentioned before that I enjoy a couple of drink driving ads just because of the sudden and visceral violence of them. The BBC have noticed something similar with those "drink responsibly" ads:
Some anti-drinking advertising campaigns may backfire by inadvertently glamorising the habit, say researchers.
The study, led by the University of Bath, said focusing on idiotic behaviour carried out when drunk may be "catastrophically misconceived".

As these reports tend to be, it's a study in obviousness and misplaced shock. They've discovered that embarrassing behaviour, rather than providing later mortification, is in fact a rich source of pub-friendly anecdotes. Turning the tales from examples of your own uselessness in to fables of your ability to laugh at yourself and have a good time. Or, as the BBC have it:
Frank Soodeen, of the charity Alcohol Concern, said: "Binge drinking is often treated as nothing more than a source of amusing anecdotes."

Who knew? Well, just about anybody who's ever talked to a group of lads (or lasses, indeed) in a pub after a night out.

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